Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly

Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly Judith Butler elucidates the dynamics of public assembly under prevailing economic and political conditions analyzing what they signify and how Understanding assemblies as plural forms of performativ

  • Title: Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly
  • Author: Judith Butler
  • ISBN: 9780674967755
  • Page: 389
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Judith Butler elucidates the dynamics of public assembly under prevailing economic and political conditions, analyzing what they signify and how Understanding assemblies as plural forms of performative action, Butler extends her theory of performativity to argue that precarity the destruction of the conditions of livability has been a galvanizing force and theme in todayJudith Butler elucidates the dynamics of public assembly under prevailing economic and political conditions, analyzing what they signify and how Understanding assemblies as plural forms of performative action, Butler extends her theory of performativity to argue that precarity the destruction of the conditions of livability has been a galvanizing force and theme in today s highly visible protests.Butler broadens the theory of performativity beyond speech acts to include the concerted actions of the body Assemblies of physical bodies have an expressive dimension that cannot be reduced to speech, for the very fact of people gathering says something without always relying on speech Drawing on Hannah Arendt s view of action, yet revising her claims about the role of the body in politics, Butler asserts that embodied ways of coming together, including forms of long distance solidarity, imply a new understanding of the public space of appearance essential to politics.Butler links assembly with precarity by pointing out that a body suffering under conditions of precarity still persists and resists, and that mobilization brings out this dual dimension of corporeal life Just as assemblies make visible and audible the bodies that require basic freedoms of movement and association, so do they expose coercive practices in prison, the dismantling of social democracy, and the continuing demand for establishing subjugated lives as mattering, as equally worthy of life By enacting a form of radical solidarity in opposition to political and economic forces, a new sense of the people emerges, interdependent, grievable, precarious, and persistent.

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    1. Response paper for class ********************In this response, I aim to think through the keyword “appear” (and two other related keywords, briefly) in Judith Butler’s Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly. This is crucial to the project of self-revision that she seems to enact with this text.In Chapter 1, Butler makes use of the two different meanings of “appear” in order to connect her earlier work on gender performance and formation to her more recent work on the condition [...]

    2. I woke up before dawn to finish Judith Butler’s most recent: Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly. A timely read, for those interested, touching on both the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements. Butler expounds upon her work of gender performativity to develop a performative theory of assembly — of nonviolent forms of resistance, public protest, of standing in the street, enacting together the phrase “we the people,” of what we mean when we say “we,” of using one’s bod [...]

    3. Erudite writing.Who really are 'the people'? And what operative of discursive power circumscribes 'the people' at any given moment, and for what purpose?In a time when neoliberal economics increasingly structures public services and institutions, including schools and universities, in a time when people are losing their homes, their pensions, and prospects for work in increasing numbers, we are faced in a new way with the idea that some populations are considered disposable. These developments, [...]

    4. One of the most readable and immediately accessible series of essays to date by Judith Butler. I appreciate how the theory of performativity has matured over time and the larger frame of appearing then shows gender as an operative part of this question. Enjoyable to read and the end of each chapter brings the threads together in a rather masterful way, the only exception for myself at least being the conclusion invoking once again Adorno. This last part on resistance was no doubt more important [...]

    5. "Perhaps these recent assemblies prompt us to ask whether we need to revise our ideas of public space in order to take account of the forms of alliance and solidarity that are only partially dependent on the ability to appear in the public square. That was, of course, Arendt’s famous claim, that politics not only requires a space of appearance, but bodies that do appear" (p.155)Interesting thesis of the space of appearance and the presence of the body.

    6. This is a fantastic book. Butler expands her theory of performativity to include bodies in political action, gathered together for protest. Here we get her views on nonviolence, social selfhood, ethical formation, and expanded meditations on gender and sexuality. This may be my favorite of her works.

    7. O_O (Only read if you are already familiarised with some Arendtian ideas of assemblies, social movements, and protests. I was only interested in this as my research is on the performative politics of protest movement & the concept of trust dynamics among its participants.)

    8. Judith Butler ist für mich eine der wichtigsten zeitgenössischen PhilosophInnen und EthikerInnen! Sie stellt die richtigen Fragen, ihr Dekonstruktivismus ist konstruktiv und sie ist am Puls der Zeit. Der einzige Punkt, der mich unbefriedigt zurückgelassen hat war, dass sie bei aller Kritik z.B. An Gefängnissen etc. Keine mit ihrer Ethik konforme Alternative anbietet. Trotzdem ist Judith Butler immer eine Lektüre wert! Und ich wünsche diesem Buch jede Menge Erfolg und neugierige Leser!

    9. A further elaboration of Butler's theories of ethics and of precarity, and a discussion of political assembly as a performative instantiation of parts of the body politic that makes them proximate and visible, enabling ethical demand. The read benefits from Butler's increasingly clear prose style. This book also recapitulates much of her previous work succinctly. It's a good place to start for an overview of what she's been up to since the mid-nineties. While I have many disagreements that stem [...]

    10. Some good quotes:"French feminists who call themselves universalistshave supported the law that would empower police toarrest, detain, fine, and deport women wearing a face veil on thestreets of France. What sort of politics is this that recruits thepolice function of the state to monitor and restrict women fromreligious minorities in the public sphere? Why would the sameuniversalists who openly affirm the rights of transgendered peopleto appear freely in public without police harassment at the [...]

    11. Nothing majorly new here, if one is familiar with Butler's work. Could really use some more editing. Yet, there are some great gems. acting in concert can be an embodied form of calling into question the inchoate and powerful dimensions of reigning notions of the political. The embodied character of this questioning works in at least two ways: on the one hand, contestations are enacted by assemblies, strikes, vigils, and the occupation of public spaces; on the other hand, those bodies are the ob [...]

    12. *3.5*This was at times a very complicated work for me, maybe also caused by the fact that this was my first time reading something by Butler. Being introduced by my sociology teacher as one of the brightest minds in the world, I had very high expectations. Some of her thoughts were truly inspiring and looked into certain aspects at a great depth; Occupy Movements, who is the "we" in "we the people", is speech considered necessary in a political act? Even though some parts were way out of my leag [...]

    13. I reviewed this text 5 August 2016. See hardcover edition for review. This review is for a re-reading of the text, which was even better the second time. This is, perhaps, my favorite of Butler's work as it seems to combine in one text what she is working through in all the others. I highly recommend adding this to your library and reading it again and again.

    14. Although not particularly a bad book, this turned out to be in my opinion the worst book by Butler to date. For an author whose main contribution has always been to add complexity to that which most take for granted, the work presented in this book comes accross as overly simplistic and taking too much for granted.

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